Add this India homeschool lesson plan to your DIY geography curriculum for a fun and tasty adventure in international culture.
I first visited India in my mid-20s and instantly developed a lifelong love for the food, people, history, and (the many, varied) religious cultures of this remarkable country.
So, of course, I had to include it in our international studies lessons.
From taste-testing Indian cuisine to the many gods of Hinduism, this richly complex society offers more than we could possibly study in a lifetime.
Here’s just a few ideas to get you started.
Of course, Hinduism colors much of the Indian culture with its vibrant mythology.
Personally, I find the stories of this religion riveting and beautiful.
There are many kid-friendly tales, but my little one seemed to really love this story of Ganesha!
Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Sanjay Patel & Emily Hanes is engaging and beautifully illustrated.
Watch a Bollywood Movie
Over 10 years ago, Bollywood overtook Hollywood as the largest movie-making industry in the world.
With bright, glittery costumes, spectacular dance numbers, and upbeat, rhythmic music, Bollywood movies appeal to kids and parents alike.
There are plenty of child-friendly Bollywood movies.
Choose one and spend an evening enjoying India’s cinematic art.
Visit a Hindu temple.
Contact your local Hindu temple and ask them if there’s a good time to visit.
The temple staff will be happy to accommodate you.
You are not required to leave an offering, of course, but it’s a nice thing to do. Fruit is lovely. Cash is better. 🙂
Try the food.
Of course, India is famous for its spicy cuisine.
But if your little one is sensitive to spices, you have a number of options (and missing the experience of Indian cuisine is not one of them!)
First, most Indian restaurants in the United States will accommodate a request to make a milder version of just about any dish on the menu.
If even that proves too much, you can always simply go to try an Indian dessert (gulab jamun is my son’s favorite!!)
Finally, if all else fails, read these tips on how to get your child to try new international foods.
Learn to write your name in Hindi.
As a written language, Hindi is both beautiful and elegant.
This online tool will translate your child’s name from English to Hindi.
Work on fine motor skills by teaching your child to hand copy his or her name in this gorgeous script.
Build the Taj Majal
Of course, the best way to experience the Taj Majal is to actually go there.
Its soaring majesty and epic legend draw hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
But if you can’t get there (ahem, this year), consider exploring this jewel of Indian heritage from home.
This 3D Taj Majal puzzle is an amazing, hands-on way to commit to memory the beauty and splendor of this magnificent building.
I have so many ideas for our India homeschool unit study, I couldn’t fit them all into our plan.
Some other ideas to consider:
-Attend a public festival at your local Indian cultural center. The Holi festival is especially fun for kids!
-Try learning a few common words in Hindi.
-Find India on the map and learn its bordering countries (China, Pakistan, Bhutan, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh). With older kids (or later in your younger child’s international education), you can use this as a frame of reference to discuss the political relationships India has with its neighbors.